Zenith heritage pilote cafe racer spirit
Cars & motorsport

Watches and exceptional cars: 2016 new pieces part 4

There will be something for every taste and budget. 2016 has been and will continue to be rich in new car-inspired watches. Here is a review of some of the pieces dedicated to the world of this inspirational partnership.

By Rémy Solnon
Specialised journalist

2016 has so far and will continue to offer the opportunity to discover new reinterpretations of iconic pieces from the 1970s and 1980s. It is a trend that also concerns driver’s watches and delights watchmaking aficionados by allowing them to rediscover the pieces that wrote history and brought about the success of existing manufactures.

TAG Heuer Heuer Monza Calibre 17 TAG Heuer Heuer Monza Calibre 17

Reinterpretations for vintage lovers

If we were asked to choose only one of these reinterpretations, it would certainly be the Monza, whose 40th anniversary TAG Heuer has celebrated this year. It was created in 1976 on the occasion of Niki Lauda’s first world championship title with Scuderia Ferrari, of which Heuer was official timekeeper at the time. The Monza Heritage chronograph is completely black, like the original version from 1976, with a cushion-shaped grade 5 titanium case with black titanium carbide coating. It comes with a black full-grain calfskin "racing" strap. The dial – also black – features the same scales on the flange as the original model – a tachometer scale on the left-hand side and a pulsimetric scaleon on the right.

Its vintage look is further enhanced by its orange Superluminova indexes and its black and white lacquered hands. On the other hand, the sporty look of this driver’s watch is enhanced with red touches. The self-winding 17 caliber offers a 42-hour power reserve. It is most certainly a collectible in the making. TAG Heuer also presented a new concept at Baselworld with "The Autavia Cup", the first interactive on-line operation. Fans were asked to choose among 16 historical Autavia models and vote for the one that they wished to see reinterpreted in 2017. The Autavia – acronym of AUT from "Automobile" and AVIA from "Aviation" – is a famous pilot chronograph that was launched by the manufacture in 1962. The 2446 Mark 3 Rindt tricompax chronograph obtained the most votes.

Zenith Heritage Pilot Café Racer Zenith Heritage Pilot Café Racer

 

Zenith invested in the motorbike universe by paying tribute to the "Racer Café", an English biker movement, with the Heritage Pilot Café Racer. These bikers are true adrenaline junkies who used to drive from café to café on British motorways with their skinned bike handlebars to optimize speed and enjoyment. The 45-mm aged steel case is equipped with a covered back engraved with the inscription "Café Racer Spirit". The grained slate dial features the iconic attributes of driver watches with large numerals and large-size beige luminescence-coated hands. The chronograph’s 30-minute totalizer is accurate to 1/10th of a second and features the El Primero 4069 automatic caliber with a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour. The nubuck strap with rubber lining is yet another reminder of its vintage component.

Gentlemen, wind your watch and start your engine!

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